36 hours in Paris (with a baby!)

When you think of Paris, a few things have always come to my mind… champagne everywhere (flowing from fountains would be nice), breathtaking architecture, fashion and attitude.

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While I didn’t get as much champagne as I would have liked {the wine was plentiful though}, I did get a fair share of true Paris attitude. I do, however, think the baby strapped to me helped to get more smiles and love than a typical tourist.

Part of me understands why the french have so much attitude. They come from the land of complete fabulousness. High fashion, couture, ridiculously amazing supermarkets (like, beautiful), history, architecture —- what’s not to be smug about? They see American’s and we’re pushy, annoying, loud, want our food and check immediately, while the French make you sit, dine, laugh and truly enjoy your meal. It’s beautiful.

We stayed at the Hotel Sevres Saint-Germain. Super nice, swank area where we felt like we could walk with babies in the early evening and be just fine. The mornings were quiet but the afternoons and evenings were bustling. Be prepared that all hotels are going to smell like smoke because the europeans still haven’t gotten the memo that smoke isn’t ‘cool’. Even still, I recommend this hotel. Super presh. We booked through a 3rd party travel site and it was 1/3 the price as the hotel website. (Even the room keys are fabulous over here!)

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If you’re cramming in everything ‘Paris’ in 36 hours like we did, I totally suggest the double decker, hop on hop off bus. It was so perfect to see everything, hop on and off when we wanted, while feeling productive and getting to sit throughout the day with the littles. We did a package – hop on hop off bus and a museum pass. This allowed us access to any museum in the entire city and the bus routes for the 2 days we were there. Of course I did not get to venture through as many museums as I would have liked, but it was nice to know that I could and didn’t have to wait in line. This is the company we used, they have an overwhelming amount of package options to accommodate all interests.

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I’ve visited Paris before and loved it but these are my take aways this time around:

  • Don’t dare order a croissant and cappuccino ‘to go’ and then sit down to wait on your coffee being made. Evidently that’s not ok. Eating in makes your order cost more and it is disrespectful to wait on your coffee by sitting down {and resting for a moment with a 25lb kid strapped to you!}. Not cool.
  • Order a Chantilly Cappacino under the Eiffle Tower. You can thank me later.

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  • If you take a taxi, make the driver start the meter right away. If not, they will up-charge you. This happened to us leaving the airport and going to the hotel. Initially he told us it would be 30 euros to our hotel, but when we arrived at the hotel he changed it to 63 euros. Not ok.
  • This goes against everything I’ve ever believed in but get a money pouch for under your clothes. Yes, my people, a fanny pack. I said it. Paris is one of the pick pocket capitals of the world so you must be very careful at all times. I would also leave passports in the safe at the hotel. This is the fanny I purchased:

  • You must go get macaroons at Laduree. If you can’t get to their Paris store on Champs-Elysees, you can still get them at the airport store. The caramel is to die for!
  • Getting money – I’ve found that the absolute best exchange rate is from an ATM. Anytime I need money, no matter the country (UK, France, etc.) I just go to the ATM at the airport and get out cash. My bank charges me $3 and that’s better than any currency exchange counter I’ve ever come across.

Let me give you another reason why European travel is so amazing. I get on my Air France flight and am served a hot bagel with fresh spread cream cheese and fresh cut cucumbers (Literally ya’ll… on US flights we’re lucky if they throw us peanuts as we’re descending). As we’re flying and I’m eating my ridiculously amazing bagel and sipping on my chardonnay, I look out the window and see the most beautiful thing – the ocean. On one side is France and the other are the green rolling hills of the UK country-side. Between the two countries is the small strip of the English Channel crowded with boats. As baby slept on my chest and I looked out at this amazing view I realized just how lucky I was. We could have been relocated to a much less than desirable place, but instead the Lord chose to put us in a place where we can truly recharge – mentally, emotionally and physically.

This trip was such a ‘pinch me’ experience. I never in a million years thought I would be taking a ‘quick trip’ to Paris with baby while the hubs was in his first semester of med school. It was hard to be there without him and see everything that I know he would have enjoyed {it IS the city of love after all!}. It was such an exciting experience and I’m so thankful for the fabulous women I am able to travel with and the access to affordable (poor med student type prices!) travel. Until next time…

XO- the WCW


My “real life” travel outtakes:

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